Kellie’s Castle is situated near Batu Gajah in Perak. It is about 20 minutes drive from the city of Ipoh, the capital of Perak. The castle is an unfinished mansion that was built by a Scottish planter by the name of William Kellie Smith. The castle was built according to some are either as a gift to his wife or a home for his son.
The Kellie’s Castle was meant to be the center of the wealthy colonial planters and administrators to socialize. The mansion was built with a six storey tower, magnificent columns and even a wine cellar. There was also to be a rooftop courtyard for holding parties and an elevator which was at that time, the first in the country of Malaysia. Though plans were grand and full of luxury, the building was never completed. Construction began in 1915 but came to a halt in December 1926 with the unexpected death of its owner, William Kellie Smith. After the death of Smith, the estate on which the mansion was located was sold and the mansion, too became part of the deal in the selling of the estate.
70 workers mostly from Madras were hired to construct the mansion. The bricks and marble were all brought all the way from India. Unfortunately, during the period of construction, a mysterious illness broke out and caused the death of many of Smith’s employees. Smith was told that he has to build a temple to appease the gods. With that, Smith quickly got his workers to build a Hindu temple nearby. Construction resumed after the temple was done. Unfortunately, the castle was never finished as Smith passed away due to pneumonia during his trip to Lisbon.
Today, the mansion had been rediscovered and is now famously known by the locals and the tourists as the Kellie’s Castle. The mansion still stands tall through the test of time. This symbolizes the pioneering spirit of the early colonialists and the romanticism of a bygone era.